Frequently asked questions relating to Waterbeach leasehold conveyancing
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in Waterbeach.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Waterbeach. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Waterbeach are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Waterbeach so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Waterbeach conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Waterbeach both have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Waterbeach is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Waterbeach conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Waterbeach from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Waterbeach can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
- Many freeholders or managing agents in Waterbeach levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Waterbeach.
What makes a Waterbeach lease unmortgageable?
Leasehold conveyancing in Waterbeach is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Coventry Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.
Waterbeach Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing
How is the lease structured?
Best to be warned whether fixing the lift or some other significant cost is due shortly to be shared amongst the tenants and will materially increase the the maintenance charges or result in a one time invoice.
Are there any major works anticipated that could increase the service charges?